Elias became the first Mariners pitcher to throw a complete game
this season, and he did it in impressive fashion by shutting out the
Detroit Tigers 4-0 at Safeco Field.
Elias, a 25-year-old left-hander out-dueled the Tigers' Max Scherzer
with a three-hit shutout that took 111 pitches to complete. He
struck out eight and never allowed a runner past second base.
"He tells me all the time he wants to pitch more, and I tell him:
'Pitch better, and you'll stay in there,'" manager Lloyd McClendon
said. "Today, he pitched better."
Elias (4-4) became the first Mariner to complete nine innings this
season, as neither Felix Hernandez nor Hisashi Iwakuma has been able
to do it yet.
"It meant a lot to me," the Cuban said through team interpreter
Fernando Alcala. "It's only the second time I've ever had a complete
Scherzer (6-2) had won his past six decisions after suffering a loss
at San Diego on April 13, but the Mariners jumped on him early while
building a 4-0 lead into the seventh inning. Scherzer allowed four
earned runs on nine hits, including a solo home run by Seattle
shortstop Brad Miller in the seventh, over 6 2/3 innings of work.
"You always want to win a series, and we didn't win the series here
-- I'm part of the blame for that," Scherzer said. "And I hope to
pitch better when we go back home."
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus was less concerned about Scherzer's
performance than he was the way the Tigers approached the game. On
the final day of a seven-day road trip, and having played 16 road
games in 20 days, the Tigers were, in the words of Ausmus, "the
flattest we've been all year, for sure."
Ausmus refused to use the long road trip as an excuse, though.
"I just thought we were flat," he said. "It's one of those days when
we made quick outs and we didn't put up much of a fight."
Said Scherzer: "When you play 160 games, we're going to have some
bad games. This is one of them. But we're a good enough team to
understand that we won't be defined by one game."
Elias dominated the Detroit bats for most of the game, allowing
three singles and one walk. Elias had thrown 101 pitches going into
the ninth inning, then he got second baseman Ian Kinsler, first
baseman Miguel Cabrera and designated hitter Victor Martinez on 10
pitches to finish off the complete game.
The Mariners built a 3-0 lead behind RBIs from center fielder James
Jones, right fielder Michael Saunders and second baseman Willie
Bloomquist before Miller's one-out solo shot in the seventh
essentially put the game out of reach.
Leadoff hitter Endy Chavez, third baseman Kyle Seager, Jones and
Bloomquist each had two hits for the Mariners (28-28). Jones singled
off reliever Phil Coke in the seventh inning but stayed in the
dugout when the eighth inning started because of groin soreness.
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Detroit had just three hits, with Cabrera and Martinez combining to
The Tigers (32-21) have not won a series since sweeping Boston May
16-18 at Fenway Park. They have Monday off before hosting Toronto in
a three-game series.
"I don't think the off day is coming at a bad time," Ausmus said.
The Mariners got to Scherzer early in Sunday's game, with a pair of
first-inning doubles resulting in a 1-0 Seattle lead. Designated
hitter Chavez led off the game with a double into the left-field
corner, and Saunders brought him home with a one-out double to
Scherzer gave up back-to-back singles to open the third inning but
eventually got out of it without any damage, thanks in part to an
inning-ending putout at home plate when the Mariners attempted a
two-out double steal. Detroit catcher Bryan Holaday threw to second
base as Chavez tried to steal second, then shortstop Danny Worth
returned the throw home -- and Holaday blocked the plate as he
tagged out Bloomquist trying to come home from third.
"I left a couple balls up, and they capitalized on some off-speed
pitches," said Scherzer, who now has a record of 27-5 since the
start of the 2013 season.
NOTES: Mariners 2B Robinson Cano (hand) was not in the lineup again
Sunday, which marked the fourth consecutive game he has been out of
the lineup. Manager Lloyd McClendon said before the game that Cano
feels pain when hitting and that the team is being cautious with
him. No timetable has been set for his return, although Cano is
probably available to pinch-hit. ... Seattle still has not formally
announced a Tuesday starter, although Triple-A RHP Erasmo Ramirez
seems the most likely option. RHP Brandon Maurer was sent to
Triple-A over the weekend, leaving the Mariners with a four-man
rotation for now. ... Mariners 2B Nick Franklin looks like a top
candidate to be sent down to Triple-A if the Mariners make a move to
call up a Tuesday starting pitcher. Franklin is hitting just .128
and has gone 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts over his past three
starts. ... Detroit shuffled its lineup before Sunday's game, with
OF Rajai Davis replacing 2B Ian Kinsler in the leadoff spot. Kinsler
slid down to No. 2 in the order.
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